2009-12-18 / Top Stories

Is LNG Island Plan Terminal?

By Howard Schwach

An artist's rendering of the planned LNG island off the shore of Rockaway. An artist's rendering of the planned LNG island off the shore of Rockaway. The plan to put a Liquefied Natu - ral Gas (LNG) plant on a manmade island off the shore of Rocka - way may come to a screeching halt in early January because New Jersey Gover nor-elect Chris Chris - tie has voiced his opposition to the proposal.

Christie, a Republican who won the New Jersey seat in November, is being hailed by environmental groups fighting the proposal, inclu - ding some in Rockaway.

We are very pleased with Christie's stan Action, a New Jersey group whose officials traveled to Rockaway for an LNG hearing sponsored by Congressman Anthony Weiner earlier this year. "This is a big change from the last administration, which had been looking out for big energy over our coastal economy."

Local environmentalists agree.

Dan Mundy, the president of Eco Watchers, a group that works to reinvigorate Jamaica Bay, says that the governor-elect's announcement is

great news." "We're very happy," Mundy said on Tuesday. "We knew that was his position prior to the election, and we were hoping it would still be his position after the election."

Locals address the LNG issue at a meeting earlier this year. Locals address the LNG issue at a meeting earlier this year. Mundy says that he understands that it will only take the veto of one of the two local governors - Christie in New Jersey and Paterson in New York - to kill the plan for good.

"We are going to follow up on this and make sure that Paterson understands the problems associated with the LNG plant on a man-made island in the entrance to New York Harbor," Mundy said, adding that he was buoyed by the fact that Mayor Michael Bloomberg is in Europe pushing for wind power farms off the coast of Rockaway, "We have reservations about wind farms, but we can't be obstructionist," Mundy said. "We can't keep saying no to everything. We do say no to the LNG with all the destruction it will bring, but we won't say no to wind farms off our shore. That will be much less obtrusive."

The Atlantic Sea Island Group had proposed building an LNG receiving station and terminal for huge tankers on a man-made island 15 miles off the Rockaway peninsula, a spot that is also off the shores of New Jersey, giving its governor a say in the plan.

So far, Governor Paterson has been mum on his thoughts about the plan, and local political experts say that his opposition to the plan would be necessary for him to win the votes of environmentalists in the coming election.

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